Saturday, 4 August 2018

AND . . . CUT!

Run a brand new summer film school.

Tick. Done that!

I've been hiding away this week, sleeping mostly, as the previous week saw the launch of my new venture, The Film Academy Edinburgh.

Back in April no one had ever heard of it. By the end of June we were on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Adwords, had our own website, and had even been mentioned in notices in the Scottish Parliament.

By mid July 62 kids were signed up.

Day one was tough, but then, it was just day one. They say you learn something new every day, but boy, is that an understatement!

But we made it through to day two, changed a few things as we went, and started to make headway.

As previous experience has shown me, the 9 to 12 year olds would be full of energy and up for anything we threw at them. The teenagers on the other hand, well, they were teenagers. They still showed keen interest, but in the way that teenagers do.

Wednesday was when we realised as a team that we could have had them shooting. We had them in more workshops and prepped them for the shoot, but we took note to make this the first shoot day in future camps.

By the Thursday cameras were finally rolling and they were all shooting their first films. It was manic, and footage was flying back to the edit suite as we went.

Come Friday lunchtime both films were wrapped and the students spent the afternoon in masterclasses, covering special effects makeup and sound effects. 
Over in the edit suite fingers were a blur on the computers. I was pulling together a fun, behind-the-scenes film, whilst Chuck the editor was trying his best to finish the kids films. By 3.30pm, half an hour before parents arrived to view the kids work, we were still editing.

At 4pm I came on stage, and announced we were a little behind, though not revealing just how far. Our acting consultant, and Scottish film star, Shauna Macdonald, improvised with a Q & A with the kids, then presented each with a certificate for the week. She was brilliant, but we were still editing.

If you've ever seen the episode Gourmet Night in Faulty Towers, were Basil's wife, Manual and Polly play for time while Basil flies around trying to bring a new roast duck to the event, then you'll have a rough idea how I was beginning to feel.

Hopefully I wasn't going to end up with trifle instead of duck.

By 4.30 the transfers were transferred over to the laptop, and I walked back to the projection room with the laptop open in my hand, still rendering! The progress bar was at half way as I stepped back onto stage and delivered the thank you's. We were now 45 minutes late, but we had made it.

The films played, not at their best as we hadn't had time to check them, but everyone was happy and left smiling, and not a trifle in sight.

And relax.

Well, not quite, as I'm about to do it all again next week! This time with a different model, and we will be filming on Wednesday.

The editing suite should be a little less pressured and I'm confident it's going to be a great success.

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